During my visit to Warsaw last weekend, I attended a cider tasting combined with the launch of a new cider from Cydr Chyliczki at Jabeerwocky Junior. The cider tasting featured six ciders, one ice cider and one ice perry, all from Cydr Chyliczki, a craft cider producer located in Chyliczki near Warsaw. Interestingly, only a few of the sampled ciders were commercially available, which made this cider tasting really special.
What made this event really unique is also the fact that the cider maker and owner of Cydr Chyliczki, Dariusz Koros was present at the cider tasting and talked about ciders produced at Cydr Chyliczki and cider manufacturing in general. The cider tasting was led by Przemek Iwanek, from Piwo i Cydr, who also made a short introduction into craft cider.
STARY SAD 2014 (ABV: 7% )
This is their basic cider, which is made from old apple varieties such as Ananas Reinette, Bancroft, Bohnapfel, Boskoop, Starking and Transparente de Croncels. Stary Sad was matured two years in a bottle. Appearance: cloudy, light straw yellow. Very light carbonation, almost still. The body is also light. Aroma: unfiltered cider notes, citruses, pineapple, ripe tart apples, Brettanomyces, a distant hint of mint. Taste: dry, no residual sugar, moderate citrus-like acidity, ripe apples, some champagne flavour with sulphuric notes (perceivable only in the beginning). Green apple with light bitter notes in the aftertaste. Very refreshing and pleasant. I enjoyed having it. 4/6
KRONSELKA 2015 (ABV: 7%)
This is a single variety cider made from Transparente de Croncels. Appearance: cloudy light golden with a huge quickly disappearing white head. Medium carbonation. Aroma: dry white wine notes, green apple with other unspecified green notes. There is also some sweet flavour in the aroma. Taste: dry, moderately acidic, slightly astringent. Light and short bitterness coming from the tannins. Relatively short aftertaste. Refreshing but quite average. 3.5/6
ZLOTA & SZARA RENETA 2015 (ABV: 8.5%)
This cider is a blend of two old apple varieties known for their high sugar content, King of the Pippins and Grey Reinette. Interestingly, the sugar content of the pressed apple juice of King of the Pippins was at extremely high 19.5 Blg! This cider was also matured 6 months in a bottle. Appearance: cloudy straw yellow. No visible carbonation. Aroma: apples and pears on the nose. Some citrus hints as well. Very refreshing. Taste: some residual sugar perceivable with nicely balanced medium tartness. Green notes with apple and pear hints. Slight astringency. Very pleasant gentle grapefruit-like bitterness in the aftertaste. This cider will be released soon and I am sure I will purchase a few bottles of this one. I enjoyed it. 4.5/6
(No Name) 2016
This cider is not commercially available yet. As per Dariusz Koros, the owner, this cider is still too young and requires a few more months of maturation. Similarly to the Stary Sad this one is a blend of Ananas Reinette, Bancroft, Bohnapfel and Starking. Appearance: cloudy light golden with medium carbonation. Aroma: apple and citrus flavours with a pear hint and some sweetness on the nose. Taste: the drier side of medium dry, pleasant flavour of camembert rind with dry champagne notes. Moderately acidic and slightly astringent with no bitter notes. Alcohol is not well hidden yet but I enjoyed it anyway. But overall I think it is almost ready to be released soon! 4.5/6
DELBARD 2016 (ABV: 7%)
Another not commercially available cider from a single apple variety Delbard. Delbard is a very young cider, which was produced in 2016 and racked off only earlier this morning. Appearance: no visible carbonation. Hazy light straw yellow. Aroma: extremely wild and funky notes. Barnyard and unpleasant feces note indicating indole presence. Hay and dryness with sulphuric notes. Some green hint and dry white wine notes perceivable as well. Very rich, but not exactly pleasant aroma due to indole. Taste: Some sweetness, lime-like but rather low acidity. White wine notes with apple and citrus flavors. Slightly astringent. Delbard is a very young cider indeed and needs more structure. So, I hope in a few months it’s taste will improve as it has a big potential, I think. For now only 3/6.
BALLERINA 2016 (ABV: 7%)
Not available commercially, a cider made from an apple called Ballerina giving red coloured apple juice and blended with pear juice. Appearance: hazy light amber colour with orange hues. No visible carbonation. Aroma: floral notes, some booze-like smell, and pears. Taste: fruity, quite high acidity, perceivable alcohol, some bitterness, and astringency. Green apples and raspberry hints but no pear flavour. Interesting but this one is the worst cider so far. I hope that the taste of Ballerina will improve as well. 2.5/6
CYDR LODOWY 2015 (ICE CIDER) (ABV: 12%)
This ice cider is a blend of a few apple varieties, including Rubinette. The fermentation process took about 8-9 months. Appearance: clear golden colour. Thick body. Still. Aroma: baked and ripe apple. Some sweetness to it and acidic notes. Taste: baked apple, apple sorbet, some nice spiciness, cinnamon but also some green notes. Moderate acidity beautifully balancing out the sweetness. Astringent, some very distant raisin notes. I was really amazed and instantly fell in love! I could swear I can still taste it in my mouth! What a great ice cider! Absolutely fantastic! Do I need to say that on the way back home to Berlin I’ve purchased a few extra bottles? I was really in heaven! 6/6!!!
GRUSZECZNIK LODOWY 2016 (ICE PERRY) (ABV:12%)
Ice perry is in general extremely rare. I haven’t heard so far about ice perry before, not to mention a cidery producing one. Hence, to me, this was the highlight of the evening. More to that, it is not commercially available yet. Soon, perhaps. Appearance: clear golden, thick and still. Aroma: some sweetness from ripe pears with notes of cinnamon and cloves. Taste: ripe and juicy pears with hints of honey and some pleasant spiciness with cinnamon and clove flavours. Some minor acetic acidity reminded me of clove-pickled pears. Very delicious but it can’t beat the ice cider. 5/6
Overall, the ice cider was unbeatable and unforgettable. This is the first cider ever that scored 6 out of 6! If you love cider as I do and if you ever get a chance to visit Poland, tasting the ice cider from Cydr Chyliczki should be part of your tour. Well done, Cydr Chyliczki!